By MONA OSMER
Men clad in camouflaged uniforms stalk the streets of Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine.
Since the signing of the Minsk Protocol in Sept., which outlines laws that must be adopted in order to protect peaceful relations between the Ukrainian government and rebel forces, Ukrainian military forces continue to fight pro-separatist forces.
This is even after Moscow deemed the election of two pro-Russian leaders, who conducted their swearing in ceremonies on Tuesday legitimate.
The two self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Luhansk are presently unrecognized by the Ukrainian government, along with the U.S. and the E.U.
However, the residents of the region in Donetsk plead, “We hope for peace, well being and prosperity for the region,” in a video posted by BBC, confronting residents about the illegitimacy of their local elections.
The Central Election Commission in Donetsk announced Incumbent Prime Minister Aleksandr Zakharchenko as their new Prime Minister on Sunday and see no reason as to why their standing PM should not be recognized by the international community.
In response, Fredrica Mogherini, Foreign Policy Chief of the E.U., said, “I consider [Sunday’s] ‘presidential and parliamentary elections’ in Donetsk and Luhansk ‘People’s Republic’s’ an obstacle on the path towards peace in Ukraine. The vote is illegal and illegitimate and the European Union will not recognize it.”
Further, Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine, has not remained silent during these, “Pseudo- elections,” as he calls them.
“They are a clear violation of the Sept. 5 Minsk Protocol, which has also been signed by Russia’s representative,” Poroshenko said, therefore denouncing Russian acceptance of Sunday’s elections.
Russia continues to be a key player in this debacle between Ukraine and separatist forces, supplying both weapons and alliance to rebel forces.
How ironic it is that the U.S. and E.U. do not support the separation of both Donetsk and Luhansk from the Ukraine.
This regime change was democratically voted on by citizens of both cities and should be recognized as such.
The fact that citizens have fully supported these elections should be the only factor needed to back both republics and their legitimacy.
Russian acceptance of the republics in both Donetsk and Luhansk should not squander their efforts to abide by their governance of the people.
Poroshenko only signed the Minsk Protocol because his forces were losing and devastation of both cities became severely concerning.
The growth of international acceptance of separatist movements should become a socialized norm, as it is a trend happening all over the world.
For instance, although it did not prevail, the Scottish referendum is a fine example of this trend.
Moreover, the U.S. assistance against the Islamic State is a total contradiction of its refusal of the Donetsk and Luhansk elections.
How can we help destroy the advancement of such a demoralizing and authoritative regime such as the Islamic State while supporting Ukraine’s ignorance of democratically assembled republics?